TULSA, Okla. — Giving a child a book is giving them an adventure deeper into themselves or out into a world they may have never known.
For 12-year librarian, Kirby Mackenzie this statement to be true and for her it is why she is so passionate about getting a book in every child’s hands.
Books are like mirrors and windowsOur kiddos get to see themselves through representation or they get to see into something they might grow to have a passion for later in life.
For the last eight years, Mackenzie and her colleague, Lisa Shotts, collected books to give out to kids in the community. Three years ago, they created a nonprofit organization, Gaining Ground Literacy.
The Gaining Ground Literacy bookmobile delivered hundreds of books to students across the Union Public Schools District. The Ellen DeGeneres Show recognized the nonprofit in 2016 by giving $25,000 to continue their efforts.
“It’s different when a kid has a book they don’t have to give back and is truly theirs,” Mackenzie. “When they have that book, especially a book that they picked out that they love it just encourages them to read more.”
Countless studies have shown that reading just 20 minutes a day outside of school improves listening, literacy, word recognition, test-taking and comprehension. Skills that will help any child get that much closer to their unique career goal.
Fernanda Rios is one of the children who benefited directly from Gaining Ground Literacy. Her mother, Bainca Rios, proudly remembers how far Fernanda’s reading has come after getting books a summer ago.
“Her teacher had noticed she was slipping behind,” Ms. Rios said. “But it was so good to see her get more excited about reading when they came by to give her books.”
To hear more about Fernanda’s story and how she now has some big dreams, watch the News at 6 on 2 Works For You as we continue our “If You Give a Child a Book” campaign.
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